McLaren 650S Successor To Be Called 720S, Use New V-8 Engine
It will be unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Showby Ciprian Florea, on
Although the 650S will is only two and a half years old as of December 2016, McLaren is already working on a replacement. Called the P14 internally and spotted testing on public roads quite often in 2016, the new supercar will reportedly break cover at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show with a 720S badge.
That’s the word from Autogespot, which seems to have obtained some juicy details about the upcoming Super Series model. Arguably the most important bit of information is that the 720S wil get a brand-new engine. According to the source, the venerable and award-winning 3.8-liter V-8 will be retired from this model and replaced with a more advanced, larger powerplant, This engine is said to displace 4.0 liters, but will also use a twin-turbo configuration, most likely with bigger, redesigned "blowers." The name suggests that the V-8 will crank out 720 PS, which converts to about 710 horsepower on this side of the pond.
That’s a 70-horsepower increase over the 650S and 44 horses more than the 675LT, which will make the 720S the most powerful Super Series model yet. No word on torque, but I expect at least a 10-percent increase over the 650S, which should translate into more than 550 pound-feet sent at the rear wheels. Coupled with the fact that the new supercar should be lighter, charging from 0 to 60 mph should take less than 2.9 seconds. Top speed will exceed 200 mph, but I don’t think that the 720S will do more than 210 mph. There’s no word on transmission, but power should travel to the rear wheels through an updated version of the current seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
More importantly, the new drivetrain has been designed to receive a hybrid system, which means that a gasoline-electric model is also in the books. However, the hybrid will be added at a later date and in a car with a different name.
The aforementioned source also claims that the interior will get a mobile dashboard that will lower itself when the car goes into track mode in order to help the driver focus and reduce distractions. Word has it that the 720S will be shown to potential customers in January. It’s also believed that the first units to be produced in 2017 after the 650S will be discontinued and are already sold out.
As far as the car’s design goes, we’ve already discussed it in our speculative review of the P14. The article includes a rendering built around the camouflaged prototypes we saw earlier in 2016. You can check it out here.
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Why it matters
Although I usually take every rumor with big grain of salt, I think that this new report is pretty accurate as far as drivetrain information and release dates go. Arguably, the most important detail is the new engine and word that McLaren will replace the current V-8 makes a lot of sense. Granted, the twi n-turbo 3.8-liter is plenty powerful and still has a lot of potential, but McLaren has already unveiled plans to take the hybrid route in the near future and it needs a new engine to do so. You could argue that the existing V-8 was already used in hybrid form in the P1, but McLaren wants a different layout in its new supercars. The P1 runs on electric power only for just 19 miles and still uses a bit of gasoline to do so. As a result, it’s not a proper hybrid, but just a car that introduced electrification in the lineup. For the 720S and probably the next hypercar that will replace the P1, McLaren wants a significantly better EV range and a higher ov erall mileage. To achieve this, a new engine is necessary. As for the 3.8-liter V-8, which has been used since the MP4-12C was launched in 2011, I don’t think it will be discontinued. Most likely, McLaren will continue to offer it in the entry-level 540C and 570S models, as well as use it in its GT4- and GT3-spec race cars.
|McLaren 650S||McLaren 720S|
|Engine||3.8-liter V-8 Twin Turbo||4.0-liter V-8 Twin Turbo (est.)|
|Horsepower||641 HP @ 7,250 RPM||710 HP (est.)|
|Torque||500 LB-FT @ 6,000 RPM||550 LB-FT (est.)|
|Transmission||7 Speed SSG||7 Speed SSG (est.)|
|0-100 kph (62 mph)||3.0 seconds||less than 2.9 seconds (est.)|
|Top Speed||207 mph||more than 200 mph (est.)|
Read our full review on the McLaren 650S here.